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Effects of distributed and centralized stormwater best management practices and land cover on urban stream hydrology at the catchment scale

Reference Type
Journal, Research (Article)

This is a paired watershed research study to compare stormwater management strategy effects, including riparian buffer and tree canopy cover, on urban hydrology.

Key Findings:

• Predominant catchment treatments included

o Centralized (gray infrastructure) BMPs

With little tree canopy cover (~15% UTC)

With greater tree canopy cover (~57% UTC)

o Distributed (GSI) BMPs (~21% UTC)

o Non-urbanized, forested landscape (~85% tree canopy cover)

• Results

o Compared with centralized treatments, GSI provided

 Slightly less stormwater runoff (6.5%)

 Significantly greater base flow (36%) and total water runoff (20%)

o GSI BMPs provided better hydrologic control for storms <27mm

o Centralized BMPs enabled better hydrologic control for storms >27mm

o Watersheds with greater tree cover (57% and 85%) had about 33% lower runoff volumes for stormflow, baseflow, and total flow

• Conclusions

o GSI BMPs compared with centralized BMPs

 Had increased baseflow

 Reduced maximum volume discharge (during smaller rain events)

 Reduced stream response (during smaller rain events)

 More closely resembles hydrologic response of forested catchment

o Increased tree canopy cover

 Reduced total stormwater runoff volume

 Decreased stream response during rain events

o Important considerations for urban stream hydrology

 Land cover is an effective stormwater BMP

• Reduced impervious cover

• Increased tree canopy cover

 Implement distributed (GSI) BMPs with land cover consideration

o Implications of GSI BMPs (engineered and natural)

 Less intense discharge

 Reduced erosion and particulate transport

 Improved stream hydrology

 Increased nutrient retention and removal

J.V. Loperfido, G.B. Noe, S.T. Jarnagin, D.M. Hogan
Date Published
July 2014
Journal of Hydrology
Elsevier B.V.
Start Page
End Page
Infrastructure (gray), Infrastructure (green), Stormwater Management
Riparian buffer, grey infrastructure, XGI, urban tree canopy, xGI, storm-water, Stormwater Management, Green infrastructure, green infrastructure
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